UN forum says people of African descent still face discrimination and attacks, urges reparations

Oct 31, 2023, 5:36 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. body formed to promote respect for and protect people of African descent around the world says in its first report that they continue “to be victims of systemic racial discrimination and racialized attacks” and calls for reparations.

The report, which was delivered to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, says reparations are essential to rectify past injustices against people of African descent and are “a cornerstone of justice in the 21st century.”

Epsy Campbell Barr, chair of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, said at a news conference Tuesday the report underlines that “the legacies of colonialism, enslavement and apartheid are still alive today.”

These legacies still have a real impact on the lives of millions of people of African descent who “are more exposed to violence and death as a result of encounters with law enforcement officials,” she said. “It also makes them more exposed to health disparities” from “the profound impact that racism and racial discrimination have on both physical and mental health.”

Campbell Barr said the report highlights that “there is an invisibility of people of African descent,” especially for vulnerable groups.

The forum was established by a General Assembly resolution in August 2021 as a U.N. consultative body for improving the safety, quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent. It also serves as an advisory body to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

The forum’s report and recommendations are based on its two initial sessions, one last December in Geneva and one May 30-June 2 in New York.

“During the sessions of the Permanent Forum, halting and reversing the lasting consequences of enslavement, colonialism, genocide and apartheid were seen as key to addressing systemic and structural racism against people of African descent, both internationally and domestically,” the report says.

On the issue of reparations, it recommends that all 193 U.N. member nations “educate themselves and the public on the histories and legacies of colonialism and enslavement.” It says they should recognize how they contributed to or suffered from these legacies, and eliminate all forms of racial discrimination at the local, national, regional and global levels.

Campbell Barr, who was Costa Rica’s first vice president in 2018-2022, said the report also recommends fostering panel discussions, holding a global summit and seeking legal opinions and studies on the reparations issue.

The forum has been invited to participate in a global conference on reparations hosted by Ghana in November, and next year it is planning to have consultations with representatives from civil society, she said.

The idea for the forum was conceived at the start of the International Decade of People of African Descent, which began in 2014 and ends in 2024. The forum calls in the report for an extension to a second decade, through 2034.

The 2021 assembly resolution called for the forum to consider drafting a U.N. declaration on the promotion, protection and respect for the human rights of people of African descent.

In the report, the forum strongly supports such a declaration, saying it would fill gaps in existing human rights instruments and “be a vital tool to guarantee dignity, inclusion, equity and reparatory justice for Africans and people of African descent.”

United States News

Associated Press

Downpours, high winds prompt weather warnings in Northeast

NEW YORK (AP) — Parts of the northeast were bracing for a stormy night Sunday, with high winds and heavy rains bringing threats of flooding and power outages through the Monday morning commute. Flood watches were in effect in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and southern New England through Monday. The National Weather Service said […]

57 minutes ago

Associated Press

Woman arrested after driving her vehicle through a religious group on a sidewalk, Montana police say

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A woman has been arrested after she drove her vehicle several times at or through an unspecified religious group gathered on a sidewalk, hitting and injuring one man, Montana police said Sunday. Genevienne Rancuret, 55, was pulled over by police in Billings on Saturday a few hours after the episode and […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Students and lawmakers gather at Philadelphia temple to denounce antisemitism

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Students, lawmakers and religious leaders joined forces Sunday at a temple in Philadelphia to strongly denounce antisemitism on college campuses and in their communities. The gathering at Congregation Rodeph Shalom came one day after University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned amid criticism over her testimony at a congressional hearing. Magill was […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Illinois man who confessed to 2004 sexual assault and murder of 3-year-old girl dies in prison

CHICAGO (AP) — A man who confessed to the 2004 sexual assault and murder of a 3-year-old Illinois girl has died in a state prison, according to state records. Scott Eby, 52, an inmate at the Menard Correctional Center, died Thursday, according to an online inmate notification system. The death of Riley Fox, whose body […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Catholic priest in small Nebraska community dies after being attacked in church

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Catholic priest in a small Nebraska community died Sunday after being attacked in a church rectory, authorities said. The Rev. Stephen Gutgsell was assaulted “during an invasion at the rectory” of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, the Archdiocese of Omaha said in a Sunday statement. […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Police chase in Philadelphia ends in shootout that leaves 2 officers, suspect wounded

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A police pursuit of a suspected gunman ended in a shootout that left two officers and a suspect wounded, police said. The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, interim city Police Commissioner John Stanford said, after officers responded to reports of gunfire and saw a pickup truck that was occupied by a […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

UN forum says people of African descent still face discrimination and attacks, urges reparations